IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 645: Social Boundaries in Scandinavia and Iceland, II: Transgressing Boundaries

Tuesday 7 July 2020, 11.15-12.45

Organiser:Alexander Wilson, Department of English Studies, Durham University
Moderator/Chair:Annemarie Ferreira, Faculty of English Language & Literature, University of Oxford
Paper 645-aThe Heresy Threshold: Witchcraft in Medieval Scandinavian Law
(Language: English)
Gwendolyne Knight, Historiska institutionen, Stockholms Universitet
Index terms: Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Law
Paper 645-bThe Gentrification of Þórarinn Nefjólfsson: The Assimilation of Outsiders into the Hirðir of Heimskringla
(Language: English)
Tom Morcom, Faculty of English Language & Literature, University of Oxford
Index terms: Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 645-cMyths of Order and Transgression: The Original Paragons of Bad Behaviour
(Language: English)
Christopher Mawford, Centre for the Study of the Viking Age University of Nottingham
Index terms: Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Pagan Religions, Social History
Abstract

This panel explores how imagined transgressions of social boundaries were used to create and engage with ideas of outsiders. Gwendolyne Knight investigates the conceptual shift in how Old Norse legal sources treated witchcraft less as a public nuisance and increasingly as heretical transgression over the medieval period. Thomas Morcom discusses how depictions of outsiders being assimilated into the Norwegian Court in stories about King Óláfr resonate with wider literary themes of salvation. Christopher Mawford connects portrayals of transgression in myths of the Norse gods with their potential audience receptions to infer how pre-Christian audiences engaged with ideas of social boundaries.